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Great thread, don't know how I missed it?

 

I don't disagree with the initial list of scoring priorities, but for me, my problems are just enough inconsistencies in all aspects of the game to really keep me from going low consistently. I can do pretty much everything well, oftentimes very well. When my driver is good, its straighter and longer than most. I am a pretty good ball striker with my irons most of the time. My wedge game ranges from ok to pretty damn good if I do say so myself. Putting is usually pretty good, last year I would have said very good but this year its been a bit more of a struggle, but even when its what I consider bad, its more about not making anything for birdie than it is a problem of 3 putting often.

 

I just can't ever seem to put it all together and its somewhat maddening. Early in the year I was really struggling with the driver, but I seem to have fixed that and the driver has been pretty steady recently. Find the driver and stop hitting greens with the irons. Hit the green, and its not close, happy to 2 putt, hit it close and burn the edge on a six footer. . .

 

Its just a compilation of pretty small errors that over times takes its toll on the score. Drive pretty well all day, but miss the fairway by 10' into deep rough or behind a tree. . .still save par often, sometimes a bogey. From a great fairway lie miss the green by 10 feet, or end up on the green but in the completely wrong spot. . .Three putt not often, but not making alot of them right now, seem to have plenty of birdie putts from inside 25' but walk off with lots of pars. Can pretty much count on scores between 78 and 82 but feel like that breakthrough into the 74-77 is right there in front of me and just can't quite get over the hump.

 

Used to be that while I might struggle somewhere in the game, sometimes even substantially, that someother aspect would be very good and save me. I might drive terribly, but I'd stick my chips into tap in range time after time. Or I'd see the line on the green for weeks on end and roll putts in from all over.

 

Now its more like everything is pretty good, but nothing is ever great. I guess its a better problem to have, but I feel like just a little improvement, or more just a little more consistency across the board would bring me down a couple strokes, and when you're a 7 that drop to a 5 is a big deal!

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I had to slap a post in here, I haven't been playing since Monday (4/16) thanks to an injury from too much golf.

 

Add injuries to the score killers list, my right leg just above the ankle and bellow the cafe on the inside near the shin bone got inflamed and supper sore from over use. I wounder what starts my down swing, maybe it is pushing to the left off inside of my right foot :)

 

Anyways, I added a link to my profile that had my current handicap. Just click the links under 'helpful links' section to view the USGA Handicap stuff. Got to love the Combined nine holes everywhere, 9 holes max allowed for 5.0 - 9.9 is 7, 18 holes it is 0 - 9.9 double bogey... I am sand bagging without even trying :)

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i'm a bit late to the party on this post, but i'll throw in my 5c anyway.

 

i am a 28 handicap currently, and to be fair my handicap should probably be around the low 30s based on my real scores.

 

anyway, some of the problems that really affects my scoring:

 

1. putting

2. decelerating on pitch\chip shots

3. not getting out of the bunker on the first try

4. tempo

5. thinking too much over the ball

 

i have always had a terrible slice, because of coming over the top. recently i started taking lessons, and my pro had a hard time ridding me of all my ingrained problems.

 

i am now starting to hit the ball much, much straigher because of the lessons. we have also started to cover the short game, as well as bunker shots, and it has already made a difference in my scoring.

 

a few weeks ago i played a course close to my home, and shot 59 on the front 9. a very poor score. my putting really let me down. i also duffed a few iron shots, when trying much too hard to hit the ball.

 

this was also during the time we were making alot of swing changes, and i was thinking way too much over the ball.

 

i played the same course over the weekend, and despite putting 43 times over 18 holes, i managed to shoot 100. which is a big improvement on the previous round at the same course.

 

even though my putting was just as atrocious as the first round, i hit the ball much better, and even managed to hit 9 out of 14 fairways with my driver, which is unheard of from me.

 

i attribute the improvement in my scoring mostly to two things.

 

1. the think box\play box concept. my pro told me about doing all the thinking 3 feet behind the ball, and when addressing the ball to just commit to the shot

2. the gio valiante "what's my target" though when addressing the ball.

 

now the two above sound like opposing thoughts. i can't seem to not think of anything when over the ball, and the "what's my target" has helped me to not think of hand position, weight shift, etc etc.

 

the above two points has led me to driving very well, when swinging around 80%, and hitting my irons alot better. and the above coupled with a though of accelerating into the ball on the short game, seems to have made a big difference.

 

i think the what's my target is a great tip for fellow 'hackers' like me. it has really helped me.

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i'm a bit late to the party on this post, but i'll throw in my 5c anyway.

 

i am a 28 handicap currently, and to be fair my handicap should probably be around the low 30s based on my real scores.

 

anyway, some of the problems that really affects my scoring:

 

1. putting

2. decelerating on pitch\chip shots

3. not getting out of the bunker on the first try

4. tempo

5. thinking too much over the ball

 

i have always had a terrible slice, because of coming over the top. recently i started taking lessons, and my pro had a hard time ridding me of all my ingrained problems. i am now starting to hit the ball much, much straighter because of the lessons. we have also started to cover the short game, as well as bunker shots, and it has already made a difference in my scoring.

 

Thanks for the post I think this is where a lot of middle to high handicappers stand so it is good to have a list from someone that has the same issues and how you got past them. I am curious how much time It took to re-sequence your down swing in terms of repetitions on the swing of proper movements so others reading have an idea of the work it takes to improve :)

 

 

 

This is not directed at anyone just some general info for the group. I think I might have covered this somewhere else indirectly but I'll go ahead and re-post it here just to have some basic information on putting and why I have it listed as number 1 score killer.

 

Par 72 course hitting 18 GIR in a round you would have 36 total putts to shot par golf.

Tour Average GIR is 12 to 14 GIR in a single round, so they would have 30 putts (12 GIR) for par golf, 32 putts (14 GIR) for par golf, 34 putts (16 GIR) for par golf. A very basic an easy concept, if you hit a GIR no more then 2 putts allowed, if you miss a GIR no more then 1 putt (successful up and down).

 

I used to have a drill where I would putt 18 putts from various lengths (6 from short range, less then 10 feet | 6 from middle range, 11 to 30 feet | 6 from long range 31 feet and longer). This was just a game as if I hit all 18 GIR in a round to get a feel for what +/- score I would have to par in that situation every putt would be for birdie in this drill.

 

I also used to do a drill where I would have 18 up and downs mixed between bunkers and pitch shots from 10 to 50 yards. This was just to simulate me missing literally every GIR in a round I would putt them out and total my score to see where I would place in comparison to par in all situations I could think of. Now I didn't expect to make 100% but 12 of 18 to 14 of 18 successful attempts was my goal, my record was 17 of 18 one time.

 

If you can get into the 70% range of up and downs, and never ever 3 putt your scores will be LOW, wen I used ShotByShot.com I had a +2 putting, +4 bunkers, +3 chip/pitch, 4 long game I was a 1.1 handicap at the time, so that goes to show just how important the short game and putting can be.

 

I don't really know what my scores would be now, my driving and iron game has gotten better, I think I am averaging slightly more FIR and GIR then I used to, short game is well in need of some work, I'm not getting up and down as much as I would like now a days it is slowly coming around the more that I play and practice the short game the better I'll get at it.

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1) Poor putting

2) Poor short game (wedges)

3) Taking Penalty Strokes (PS)

4) Poor Course Management

5) Poor Mental Approach

 

 

 

 

Mine is a little bit of everything....#1 costing me the most...

 

1) Chipping

2) Putting. I average 35.2 putts per round. I just can't drop them over 5', but rarely 3 putt regardless of distance, so that's a positive.

3) Drives. I hit 70.5% acceptable drives. Acceptable meaning my 2nd shot is not negatively impacted by my drive.

4) Long irons. Outside 155 yds it's 50-50 on the green or just off.

5) Wedges 125 and in. I will usually hit the green, just not necessarily to within 5'.

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How did I miss this one? So many things here right up my alley. Wow

 

Let's start with JMiller (whom I like more and more and more every time he posts) original suppositions. I don't know that I agree with his exact order but I agree with the sum total of what he has. Number 3 might be higher for higher handicappers where as is dead in the right spot for a lower handicap golfer - We're generally not racking up the penalty strokes and in fact can often go several rounds in a row without one - however you also have to realize that if your average score is 74, 75, 76 one stroke and distance is huge! For me his numbers work but I think for mid to higher handicappers number 3 might even be number 1 (as Matt as already argued.) I see it all the time with my mid-high handicap friends, they hit one crooked off the tee and then another and before you know it that 10 footer for 8 really doesn't mean much other than its one less than a nine.

 

As for the preshot routine when I visualize I really try to call up a similar shot to the one that I'm planning. When the course is a familiar one I look for one there in my memory banks. When it's not I look for one that fits the shot I'm playing. I practice lots around the green by just randomly tossing three balls into a variety of lies and going for it until the ball is holed out - that way I have less surprises on the course. I've holed so many short putts on the practice green that I go on autopilot when it's for real - the more pressure on the putt the more I'm on that practice green in the late evening as a college kid making that 18th one in a row so that I can go have a beer with the guys.

 

If I have something big coming up I'll actually go through a practice round on the range a couple of days before the tournament - then I can picture the shot I hit on the range for the shot that I'm going to hit on the course.

 

In all the things I do I believe practice makes perfect - I have two biological children and have enjoyed very second of practicing to conceive them with my wife. I have two adopted children and enjoyed every moment of the foster kids that I had to practice for them. When I go to preach I practice, practice, practice. When I go to do the liturgy at a big service with lots of chanting you can bet I've chanted the thing so many times that its going to flow no matter how scared to death I might be. Same thing in golf - I think my days as a music major have had their impact.

 

As a side note did one of my buddies send you a map of my nemesis hole JMiller? That's it - number 7 on my course and 666 in my heart. I never hit driver on that hole but lately 3 wood has been failing me miserably. In fact its in the back of the van and we are about to go to club fitter Matt (I'm with my daughter) who will be puting a hook proof shaft in it. ;) In the meantime you'd think I'd just hit 4 hybrid to 160 which is the fat part of the fairway short of the pond left, trap, woods and OB right. It's a spot where I'm going to make par from 90 percent of the time, birdie about 5 percent and bogey or other the rest of the time. That's way better than what I've been making from the water 50 yards up I can tell you.

 

Course management includes some form of self discipline. Usually I have it - I think there's a rule that it disappears the second I walk off the 6th tee only to re-emerge in the 7th fairway as I take my drop. :angry: :angry: :angry:

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Yesterday I was having a really good round with two of my higher handicap friends. I was not really paying attention to their games as I was working on keeping my focus on my game during my shot time and relaxing when it is not my turn. On the 16th hole, I was 1 under and happened to notice one of the guys bad shots. It was not hard. I was 75 yards right of him no closer to the hole than he was and the ball came whizzing through my cart. He had been 150 yards out in the fairway and was now 140 out in the trees.

 

We get to the 17th tee, after his 8 or whatever he had just gotten, and he said that all of a sudden he could not hit an iron anymore, could I help him. I asked if he were taking medicine that affected his short term memory. He said no. I said, then you can fix it yourself. There were only two choices. Fundamentals or tempo. If he were to focus on both proper fundamentals then smooth tempo, and he still had a problem I would work with him.

 

He finished the round with two pars. I finished the round with 3 over par but that goes back to the poor coursemanagement, penalty strokes, and poor chipping and poor putting, You can not do all five of these on the same hole and expect to have a good score. I made my first triple bogey in weeks.

 

So add these at least as contributing factors,

 

Poor Fundamentals

 

Poor Tempo

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I really think poor fundamentals for the full shot fall under 2 and 3 where as poor tempo might fall under 4 or 5.

 

Read Jmiller's list carefully - I really believe you can find where physical execution fits into each of his first three categories. I hesitate to say that it's over rated but I will say that despite what most people think they do not get the bang for their physical capability buck because of mental errors and a failure to develope their short games.

 

If I've learned one thing from playing golf for 45 years and from participating in golf forums for 5 its that if you tell people they don't hit it as far as they say they do they will reach some degree of anger with you and shut down and if you tell them they make poor on course decisions (often regards to clubing choices) they won't believe you. And don't even try and broche the subject of slow play.

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Thanks for the post I think this is where a lot of middle to high handicappers stand so it is good to have a list from someone that has the same issues and how you got past them. I am curious how much time It took to re-sequence your down swing in terms of repetitions on the swing of proper movements so others reading have an idea of the work it takes to improve :)

 

jmiller65, my first lesson was at the beginning of april. at that point we addressed the fundamentals: grip, posture, alignment, ball position. this was vital for me, because in roughly 15 years of golfing this was my first lesson.

 

since beginning of april, i've been for a lesson almost every week. lessons would last for half an hour, and we probably spent 6/7 lessons on the full swing. i would also try to go back to the range the day after a lesson, to work on what we covered.

 

the one thing i will say about that very first lesson. i could not believe how sweet i was hitting the ball after making some minor adjustments. i was hitting the ball flush, and my irons were going much higher, than what it was when i was still doing the reverse pivot before. it was a strange feeling hitting the ball flush for the first time in my golfing life, i didn't know how it felt to hit a golf ball that well.

 

i also tried to take a few swings at home when i couldn't get to the range, to get those positions and feelings ingrained.

 

at first i really struggled to replicate hitting the ball as flush when i was at the range alone, and this was really annoying for me. i wanted quick results. but these things take some time, and alot of patience.

 

each time i went to the range alone, i would see minor improvements. i am now at the point where i can kind of fix my problems myself when at the range alone, and i probably hit 60-70% of my shots really flush during a range session. and i would say this percentage gets better and better each time. and that's not to say that the 30-40% that i don't hit flush, are bad shots as before, they're just not that sweet, sweet-feeling shots.

 

i think most of you would be surprised to hear that i'm playing with mizuno mp-53 irons. i doubt that anyone would recommend these irons to someone of my skill level. my pro advised me to get these (he is mizuno-sponsored, so he is partial to them). but my pro was confident that i would be able to handle them.

 

at first i was a little afraid of them, especially the long irons. but i like the fact that these irons force me make a good swing every time. i definitely don't think this is the route that most hackers should go, but it is working for me at the moment. when hitting these irons flush, that feeling cannot be described. i am not confident with the 3 and 4 iron yet, but can hit the 5 iron very well. (have had some great range shots with the 3 and 4 iron, but need to build the confidence with these irons still).

 

each time i hit an iron flush in the right spot, i am motivated to get that feeling again and again. that's been a big motivator for me.

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I think a lot of problems that impact all of the above is pace of play with newer golfers. I see it fairly often. High handicappers that "don't want to hold up fellow golfers", so the cut short the pre-shot, don't take the time to align and in a lot of cases end up just hacking at it. In the end, they cost more time looking for balls from bad shots than they saved, but seems to be this mentality. I know I sometimes bite myself doing this. I consistently play better when I am playing with higher handicaps, and not being pushed by that scratch 4some behind me that is trying to play 18 in 2:45-3:00.

 

Again though, I say that this is where we have to stress the mental side of the game. I am a high handicapper, not because of any one problem beyond the mental issues of the game, and my score history indicates that, as I am inconsistent. With scores ranging from 74 at the low end, to 98 at the high. admittedly, I am trending down, and have set a personal goal of seeing a single digit handicap by June 1 of 2013. if I am honest with myself, I know my problems are all mental, which leads me to make bad shots. With penalty shots being the one that cost the most, and unfortunately, for me, wedge shots from 50-85 being the second ( though having just replaced my 60 degree, I do seem to be rediscovering some missing feel from the last year ). I think the list is good, but you almost need three lists, but more importantly one thing to reiterate, this is a physical game that is completely dictated my the mental aspects of the game. Scoring low is less about the perfect swing, and more about the perfect mindset.

 

Relax, don't try to kill it, don't over think it, your body knows what to do.

 

All of the thinking goes into the pre shot, and club selection.

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Mine is a little bit of everything....#1 costing me the most...

 

1) Chipping

2) Putting. I average 35.2 putts per round. I just can't drop them over 5', but rarely 3 putt regardless of distance, so that's a positive.

3) Drives. I hit 70.5% acceptable drives. Acceptable meaning my 2nd shot is not negatively impacted by my drive.

4) Long irons. Outside 155 yds it's 50-50 on the green or just off.

5) Wedges 125 and in. I will usually hit the green, just not necessarily to within 5'.

 

Not trying to pick on you here just using this post as an example of where people have too high expectations in the short game and sometimes not high enough expectations in the long game. Thanks for the post it allows me to slap some stats up.

 

PGA Tour Stats for proximity to the hole

http://www.pgatour.com/r/stats/info/?076 (approach 50 - 75 yards)

http://www.pgatour.com/r/stats/info/?02363 (approach 75 - 100 yards)

http://www.pgatour.com/r/stats/info/?074 (approach 100 -125 yards)

http://www.pgatour.com/r/stats/info/?339 (approach from 125 - 150 yards)

http://www.pgatour.com/r/stats/info/?338 (approach from 150 - 175 yards)

http://www.pgatour.com/r/stats/filter/?6 (view all the "proximity to the hole" stats)

 

PGA Tour Stats GIR Percentage for given distances

http://www.pgatour.com/r/stats/info/?330 (GIR Percentage

http://www.pgatour.com/r/stats/info/?329 (125 - 150 yards GIR Percentage)

http://www.pgatour.com/r/stats/info/?328 (150 - 175 yards GIR Percentage)

http://www.pgatour.com/r/stats/info/?327 (175 - 200 yards GIR Percentage)

http://www.pgatour.com/r/stats/info/?326 (200+ yards GIR Percentage)

 

 

In short I would say that the expectations for your short game are a touch high. I would say the expectations of your long game are a touch low. You can dig through all the stats you want PGA Tour keeps anything and everything it seems like.

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1) Poor putting

2) Poor short game (wedges)

3) Taking Penalty Strokes (PS)

4) Poor Course Management

5) Poor Mental Approach

 

When this thread first came up and I read this I did not give number 3 much thought because honestly, penalty strokes are rare for me lately. I use a lot of irons and hybrids off the tee and on the par 3's I tend to miss left and all four of them have water or OB on the right. ( This will all change next month when the new course opens up, and the Par 3 9th will be an island, and the par 4 18th will be an island.) At the time when this came out I was averaging 1 penalty stroke per 6-8 rounds. Nothing to even think about. So I totally disregarded it.

 

However, with recent posts by me and revkev and many others, I am going to take issue with number 3.

 

Having to take a penalty stroke is the outcome. While it certainly effects the score, the penalty stroke itself is the result of a poor shot. The poor shot is caused, at least in my experience, by one of two things. Poor set up or poor tempo. Obviously, single digit cappers, do not have poor fundamentals, but, most of the time when I hit a shot that is bad enough to result in having to take a penalty stroke it is because something in my set up, or more often, some tempo problem.

 

Of course, it can be course management problems also, choosing the wrong club, going for the green when you should not, etc... But still, the result is a bad enough shot that results in a penalty stroke.

 

For higher cappers, this poor set up and tempo is severe enough that it is a poor fundamental problems. They consistantly stand too close or too far, and swing too fast, and grip it wrong, and come over the top and a miriad of other problems because they start out wrong and this creates more problems.

 

I watched a high capper yesterday, rush his tempo every shot. I watched another set up too close to the ball, tee it up too high and rush his tempo on the tee box and pop up every one of his drives yesterday. I can not tell you how many penalty strokes they incurred because of this but it was a lot. Neither of them were interested in listening to what caused their problems but kept cursing about them all day. One of the other low cappers had said something to both of them on the first tee, and both of us had repeated it as the day went on when asked about it, but they continued to do it, and lost a combined $37.

 

So for me the 5 score killers are:

 

1) Poor putting

2) Poor short game (wedges)

3) Taking Penalty Strokes (PS) Poor Setup / Tempo

4) Poor Course Management

5) Poor Mental Approach

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In short I would say that the expectations for your short game are a touch high. I would say the expectations of your long game are a touch low. You can dig through all the stats you want PGA Tour keeps anything and everything it seems like.

Maybe. Thing is, if I just miss a green, I need to get that ball close on the chip or it's a stroke. I suppose wanting that chip inside of 3'-5' can be considered more of a goal than an expectation. I don't expect them ALL that close, but more would be nice; simply because outside of 8' and my odds of dropping it are slim.

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I might have said it somewhere else I an kind of adjust my thoughts on it a lot, as I think that I can draw a lot of things back to the following aspects

 

Mental Approach

 

Mental Approach

~ putting, might not be your stroke could be thought process, the 'yips' are mental block to allow your body to stay relaxed in a motion

~ short game, improper decisions and targets result in bogeys and not getting up and down

~ penalty strokes, most of the time a result from a poor shot selection and mental decision

~ course management, again takes mental game to make good decisions for proper course management

 

 

think about that statement for a minute and trace back all the bad results to you mind set and process before the shot / stroke. Now do the same thing with all of your great shots and results. I am willing to bet that most of the time the great results came from natural feeling swings that came from a clear mind set.

 

almost everything in any sport is a reaction to a moving object which is actually easier to do athletically, golf is hitting a stationary object that you have to figure out how to make your body react naturally to the stationary object rather then a moving object. That is all mental in my honest opinion.

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There is no doubt that mental approach plays a huge part of golf. I guess you could say that every bad shot is a mental error, but when I think of mental approach, I think of staying relaxed, visualizing the ball flight, staying focused, and not having 75 things going on in your head. Mental Approach is almost the subconscious side of golf. It is the proper state of mind. Not the decisions you make on the course. Those are course management issues.

 

Yes, you could say that setting up too close to the ball, which causes you to swing over the top, is a mental error because you "decided" to stand that close, but I do not think that is really a mental approach issue. That is setup flaw.

 

Yes, overswinging, because you are really trying to hit a club further than normal is a mental error, but I would not classify that as mental approach. That is a tempo issue.

 

I could go on and on, but these are mental errors. You could say that the range ball did not spin to a stop because you made the decision to use a range ball instead of a Pro V1 or whatever ball you like. But that does not fall under the umbrella of "Mental Approach" in my opinion.

 

 

You can link every penalty stroke you ever earned, or bad shot you ever made back to some decision you made, because the ball would have never left your pocket if you did not decide to take it out. But that is not a "Poor Mental Approach".

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Mental approach is an interesting category - it could also include lack of focus or indecision - think of the number of times that you are planning a shot and can't quite apprehend what you want to do and therefore hit a piece of crap out there.

 

For example I draw the ball almost exclusively. In fact the only time that I'll hit a fade/slice is when it's the only possible shot out of trouble or with my short irons when I'm hitting the ball very well in order to get it close to a right pin. Yet every once in a while I decide that I just have to cut my tee ball - why? I don't know - seems like the devil makes me do it. That's where the overwhelming majority of my penalty strokes come in. Certainly I make a physical error - I didn't execute the fade that I probably could have hit 9 times out of 10 on the range but it was also a mental error in that I've firmly established that my chances of hitting a poor shot with the driver increase exponentially when I try to hit a cut, fade, slice, whatever we're calling it.

 

I appreciate the comments on pace of play. This one happens to me too if I'm not careful - the pace of play is slow and so I rush - as if I could do anything about an entire course that's backed up. If you want to enjoy playing golf you have to learn to adjust to the pace of play that's going on around you even if you don't prefer it. When it's your turn you need to stick to your game plan.

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Assuming equipment is not at play you have been fitted and everything preforms well for you, then I think the game is looked at a lot differently.

 

Course Management is just a mental state alone. You have to be aware of your own golf game, know your distances on clubs, know your typical miss, calculate all of that into a decision making process for a club and shot selection. Even pre-round planning you have to plan as if you played the course already and mentally picture the shot. I see visualization and good decision making directly linked to a mind set. How many golfers don't think anything about there own game and play to their strengths?

 

By this I mean on the practice tee before a round if my average ball flight is a cut I play to that ball flight for the day I try to avid hitting a lot of draws, that might sound like course management but you haven't even hit the course yet so it's more of a mental approach to course management. So really I think Mental Approach is a huge part of course management at a very high level.

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i think most of you would be surprised to hear that i'm playing with mizuno mp-53 irons. i doubt that anyone would recommend these irons to someone of my skill level. my pro advised me to get these (he is mizuno-sponsored, so he is partial to them). but my pro was confident that i would be able to handle them.

 

I always cringe a bit when I hear this. There is no reason someone who wants to improve shouldn't play a players CB iron. You get a lot more feel so you know your mishits and it can help fix your flaws.

 

I think a lot of problems that impact all of the above is pace of play with newer golfers. I see it fairly often. High handicappers that "don't want to hold up fellow golfers", so the cut short the pre-shot, don't take the time to align and in a lot of cases end up just hacking at it. In the end, they cost more time looking for balls from bad shots than they saved, but seems to be this mentality. I know I sometimes bite myself doing this. I consistently play better when I am playing with higher handicaps, and not being pushed by that scratch 4some behind me that is trying to play 18 in 2:45-3:00.

 

Again though, I say that this is where we have to stress the mental side of the game. I am a high handicapper, not because of any one problem beyond the mental issues of the game, and my score history indicates that, as I am inconsistent. With scores ranging from 74 at the low end, to 98 at the high. admittedly, I am trending down, and have set a personal goal of seeing a single digit handicap by June 1 of 2013. if I am honest with myself, I know my problems are all mental, which leads me to make bad shots. With penalty shots being the one that cost the most, and unfortunately, for me, wedge shots from 50-85 being the second ( though having just replaced my 60 degree, I do seem to be rediscovering some missing feel from the last year ). I think the list is good, but you almost need three lists, but more importantly one thing to reiterate, this is a physical game that is completely dictated my the mental aspects of the game. Scoring low is less about the perfect swing, and more about the perfect mindset.

 

Relax, don't try to kill it, don't over think it, your body knows what to do.

 

All of the thinking goes into the pre shot, and club selection.

 

Why do you think it's mental? There are many swing flaws out there that manifest themselves as good results some times and poor results other times. The easiest example is flipping. On some days, the club face will be perfectly square for every hit, on other days half will be open, half closed, and who knows what kind of loft.

 

Mental errors are caused by poor judgement. Most of the time swinging too hard, but also tensing up because of frustration.

 

I'm also not of the opinion that my body knows what to do because I haven't ever had a good swing, though I can hit mid 80s often. If my body knew what to do, I'd be shooting under par. As Matt says, "feel is not real"

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I always cringe a bit when I hear this. There is no reason someone who wants to improve shouldn't play a players CB iron. You get a lot more feel so you know your mishits and it can help fix your flaws.

hi wdgolf, i'm glad that you agree with me playing with these clubs. i really need to thank my pro for making me go this route, if it hadn't been for him, i surely would have gone for some big CB game improvement iron, which in the long run wouldn't have been the best choice for me. in fact, i did hit the mizuno mx 1000s (i think), and i hit them fairly well, and i thought my pro was a little mad for not getting me those after i had hit them pretty well. butt even with my limited skill level, it felt like these irons ballooned a bit, and i couldn't hit it dead straight at the target. the mp-53s are much more accurate for me.

 

what i meant to say about irons like these is that i think weekend golfers of my caliber who aren't really dedicated to improving shouldn't look into playing irons of this type. i am trying to hit the range twice a week (lately i have been hitting the putting\chipping green mostly), but it has taken a fair amount of time to hit these irons relatively well.

 

i have some friends that play maybe 3/4 rounds a year, and shoot in the 100s. i wouldn't even let them try to hit the higher irons in my set. hell, i'm still a little afraid of the 3 and 4 iron. but then again, they're not serious about improving, and are happy with a couple of days out on the course, and while they do get a bit frustrated, they still enjoy the outing.

 

so i definitely agree that for someone serious about improving (and i need to stress the taking lessons part here), irons like these are great. i, for one, find it a great motivator every time i hit one flush, and i get that incredible feeling from the irons. that is probably the single greatest motivator for me right now, with my iron play. i just want to repeat that feeling time and time again.

 

this is just my opinion as an experienced hacker, but i still defer to most on the forum, as my knowledge of the game does not come close to most forum members.

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I disagree on the matter of using players clubs - the tests that I've seen suggest that even the lowest handicappers would benefit from cavity back, game improvement type clubs - this sight is dedicated to improving play - when we go to the fitter he's going to turn to the maltby playability chart and direct our attention there - I think he's right. Other's disagree and I'm not going to fight with you but I'm going to at least give a shout out mention every time it comes up. Why do we get fit? Why is that chart important if we aren't going to pay attention to it?

 

Back to the point at hand - how can we reduce our scores or the opposite what are the biggest score killers. It is always very hard to put a percentage on what part of a missed shot is physical and what part is mental. In some ways every swing is flawed even the very, very best ones. The less the flaw, the easier it is to get the swing to repeat, the greater the flaw the tougher it is to get the swing to repeat. That's what we are faced with.

 

If I'm catching jmiller rightly what he is saying is that mental approach is about fitting what a player has, flaws and all, into what the course presents. That's how I see it. For example he writes that if he has a cut on the practice tee he goes with it. I've learned that no matter what I have on the practice tee it's going to be a draw on the course so I go with that. The only time I get into trouble physically is when that draw turns into a hook but that really is very infrequently and even then I can play with it or legislate for it if need be.

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