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Playing with better golfers


tony@CIC
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You're 100% right. Happens all the time. You're supposed to play the course, but you get into a groove and start just kinda going around with the buds. Then improvement stops and the groove becomes a rut. The cure is a game with better players. At least to shake it up.

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I’ve played with a number of mini tour guys this year. It’s been a blast. They are playing from the tips, I from my regular tees. When I’ve had them at my home course that means they are playing a course they aren’t so familiar with from 7200 yards, course rating of 75, slope 144 while I’m at 6,100 71.7, 131. I’ve beaten them a couple of them under that scenario.

 

To put it in perspective my handicap would go from 5 on my tees to 10 on theirs according to the USGA app and I know the course like the back of my hand.

 

I played with one of the guys last Saturday on his course. He from the tips me from up a set - 6700 73.7 138 for him. 71.7, 130 for me. It’s my buddy’s course so I play there a lot but these guys play there every day. He also had a year on the web.com and is coming back from a serious injury.

 

His 63 blew my 75 out of the water. He followed that 63 up with another one the next day. He’s anxious for golf to be back. He’s going to try and make a go of it on the Hooters tour this year. Trying to make his way back.

 

I’ve learned a lot about the short game from him. That and playing angles.

 

It’s fun.

 

My handicap is low enough that I get to play with a lot of very good players.

 

 

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2 hours ago, tony@CIC said:

The majority of the guys in our group play from the bronze tees (5700 yds slope rating 123) and average handicap is around 22. Recently a few guys decided to join our group that are low to mid teens. The first time I joined them they told me while they were playing from the whites (6100 yds slope rating 131), and I could play from the bronze if I wanted. I decided to play from the whites with them and ended up playing well In fact I probably played better with them than with my regular group. And I had more fun

Sounds weird, but I think playing with guys my handicap or worse is making me a bit complacent. Any else have the same reaction/result?

BTW an added benefit is I pick up 3 strokes on the course handicap.

It's definitely not weird.  Any golfer will benefit from playing with better players.  It pulls you out of your comfort zone, and you tend to focus better than playing with your usual buds.  You get to watch how better players play the course and certain shots.  Your brain is taking all this in and wants you to play better too.

I've been on both ends of this phenomenon.  When I first took up golf, I played in the men's gangsome (teams of 4 players with an A, B, C, and D player; A was either a pro or a scratch... I was the D 🙄).  I was waaaay out of my league, but it was an excellent learning experience and I improved from a 28 to a 16 with no other instruction.

When I moved to a different course, I played with fairly new players and players that have been 20+ handicaps for years.  I enjoyed the people but it dragged my game down to nearly their level.  I searched out some better players and while I still occasionally played with the "old guys", I enjoyed playing with single digit players.  Now that I am one of the "old guys" and after many lessons to get better, I don't really care who I play with and tend to just focus on the course; not the players.  Some days it's GOLF... some days it's FLOG.

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We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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Totally normal. I play my best golf with certain people. My cousin who’s close to scratch and @B.Boston I play my best golf and others that are single digit handicappers. It’s not necessarily high handicaps that have me playing worse but certain people.

example a group of my friends are just not good golfers, they go out to drink and lose golf balls lol. I play terribly with them typically shooting in the low 90s which is awful for me. I think it’s because I’m worried about A) pace of play and B) because they can get pretty rowdy on the course which is usually fun and a good change of pace but when you’re on a nice course where that isn’t really accepted you get in your head and start worrying about other things besides what you need to do to make a certain shot or reading a putt correctly.

i go out knowing I am probably not going to play all that well with them.

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I definitely think playing with better players makes you shoot better. For me, it's motivation - I see what those golfers do to prepare on their shots and how they approach different situations, and I want to learn from that to get better. Some guys, as noted above, just want to advance the ball somewhere close to the green while drinking beers and complaining about their wives. 

I honestly think that's a natural reaction. I know when I've jammed with other musicians who are way better than me, I up my listening and my concentration level. You're better off rising up (or doing your best to) than dropping to a lower level, even if that drop is subconsciously. 

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It always seems that I play to the level of my partners. If they are better than me, I usually end up having better than average rounds. If they are worse than me, I usually play worse.

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No doubt it makes you better. Been playing with a buddy of mine for 7 years and have only beaten him once (I’m around an 8 and he’s a 2). Gives me a goal to go for every time we play.


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I generally play better when I play with better players or when a few bucks in on the line to keep the game interesting. 

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The majority of the guys in our group play from the bronze tees (5700 yds slope rating 123) and average handicap is around 22. Recently a few guys decided to join our group that are low to mid teens. The first time I joined them they told me while they were playing from the whites (6100 yds slope rating 131), and I could play from the bronze if I wanted. I decided to play from the whites with them and ended up playing well In fact I probably played better with them than with my regular group. And I had more fun
 
Sounds weird, but I think playing with guys my handicap or worse is making me a bit complacent. Any else have the same reaction/result?
 
BTW an added benefit is I pick up 3 strokes on the course handicap.
 
 
 
 
 
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Actually I think it’s common. I know I prefer to play w better players than me (which is easy to find). Everyone wants to play at a higher level and playing with lower handicap than yourself you concentrate a bit more on the little things that can add up quickly.
Have fun, that’s what it’s all about [emoji16]


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... I enjoy playing with golfers that truly love the game and give it all their concentration, so their handicap is irrelevant as long as they have a positive attitude. I have found more really good players can be a PITA when struggling on the course because they are in such a negative mind frame, although there is that high index group that never seem to hit a good shot yet complain about every bad shot like it isn't their norm. I also love playing with better players that have something I can either lean from or just admire. I have played with several Mini Tour and DI college players and really enjoyed the experience, although I could learn nothing from them or their game.

... I joined a MT player in Orlando at Champions Gate on the second hole and he had already teed off and asked if I wanted to join him. My tees were about 50 yds in front of his and I hit a really nice drive. Our balls were about the same yardage on a par 5 with 245 left to the flag but a dogleg just before the hole guarded by trees. I hit a nice hybrid to the far side of the fairway about 225 and leaving me a pitch to an unobstructed pin. I watch this 24 yr old pull a 4 iron and figure he is laying up too. He aims right for the flag which has a 230 carry over the trees guarding the green and hits a towering 4 iron that ended up just over the green on the back fringe. He says "I think a 5 might have got me close but my first priority was clearing the trees which are taller than they look". LOL, nothing about anything he did had any relevance to my game so nothing to learn or pick up but I enjoyed the experience because he was a good guy and a joy to watch swing a golf club. 

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I always enjoy playing with better players if nothing else its fun to watch good golf.  I've also learned from playing with better players that you don't have to hit it 280 to play good golf.  One of my good friends is probably a 3 hndcp and he only hits it 230-240 off the tee.  However he's always down the middle and rarely makes mistakes and has a good short game.  It does seem like it raises your game to a different level also.  Another big bonus is you don't have to chase everyone else golf ball all over the place. One of my best friends who I play with often is a 15, and he hits it all over the place and i get tired of looking for his ball every hole.  You can also learn things to improve your own game by playing with better players.

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10 minutes ago, Jfontes said:

I always enjoy playing with better players if nothing else its fun to watch good golf.  I've also learned from playing with better players that you don't have to hit it 280 to play good golf.  One of my good friends is probably a 3 hndcp and he only hits it 230-240 off the tee.  However he's always down the middle and rarely makes mistakes and has a good short game.  It does seem like it raises your game to a different level also.  Another big bonus is you don't have to chase everyone else golf ball all over the place. One of my best friends who I play with often is a 15, and he hits it all over the place and i get tired of looking for his ball every hole.  You can also learn things to improve your own game by playing with better players.

Cant agree more, It is so much fun to see someone playing a GOOD clean round. 

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The majority of the time I play with guys much better than me. I have learned so much about the game, course management, how to deal with setbacks etc. It exposes the weaknesses in your game in a good way that gives you hope and encourages you to improve. It has made me better and I learn something new every time out. I do find it much more fun. On the other hand when I go to play with people on my level or worse I usually have my worst rounds. Its funny how this works. I almost feel bad when I play with people better than me that I am not pushing them to be better of offering anything but then I realize the money I donate and entertainment I provide is more than enough. 

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4 minutes ago, BelowParGolf said:

The majority of the time I play with guys much better than me. I have learned so much about the game, course management, how to deal with setbacks etc. It exposes the weaknesses in your game in a good way that gives you hope and encourages you to improve. It has made me better and I learn something new every time out. I do find it much more fun. On the other hand when I go to play with people on my level or worse I usually have my worst rounds. Its funny how this works. I almost feel bad when I play with people better than me that I am not pushing them to be better of offering anything but then I realize the money I donate and entertainment I provide is more than enough. 

Its nice to be asked sometimes "what am I doing here, what do you suggest out of here" it's helping someone get better, we have all been there (and still are) pointers when asked are great!

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See I agree with alot of you guys. The guys who were the better players in our group have stuck at their private course and I honestly think my game has suffered for it. 

Hopefully soon I can find a better group or join a league somewhere else where I can play more. We'll see.

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As in all other competitive events, sports or otherwise; always have a chance to observe/participate with higher standard than yourself if possible.

As a golfer, you will pick up something from a better player if you pay attention.  May that be the rhythm, timing, accelerate through the golf ball....... I picked up quite a few tips from competitive golfers while playing a round with them.  The first lesson I picked up quite some time ago was how the better golfer can stop the bleeding on a bad hole, their ability to scramble for par after a bad tee shot.  Looking back, I had benefited when I witness others score lower than 70 with a not so spectacular round of golf.  Patience with the pars and a few birdies that came along, that's all.

I would grab any chance to golf with the better golfers than I am, any time.

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Another perspective I found recently:  the 'relativity' of the score per hole. I found when I'm playing with others that are same or worse then me. When we approach the green and they're putting for a bogie and get a double. Then I get a bogie, I'm saying to myself "well that wasn't so bad - at least I did better than their doubles" . On the other hand playing with guys better than me I'm looking for birdies or pars. 

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Another perspective I found recently:  the 'relativity' of the score per hole. I found when I'm playing with others that are same or worse then me. When we approach the green and they're putting for a bogie and get a double. Then I get a bogie, I'm saying to myself "well that wasn't so bad - at least I did better than their doubles" . On the other hand playing with guys better than me I'm looking for birdies or pars. 

Never thought about it but makes sense.


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Rick

 

 

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Driver; Titleist TSi2, Kuro Kage 50 gr R2

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4 minutes ago, Rickp said:


Never thought about it but makes sense.


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Guess it's all about managing expectations - just like Life. 

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