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Not Chasing Scratch...Just Chasing a Semi Decent Reliable Game...How Do I Get There


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Looking forward to this thread! I've seen the pod come up in my suggested on spotify and had thought about starting to listen. One of the biggest changes to my game that has helped with better scoring is just figuring out a way to have a consistent miss off the tee with driver. I've finally gotten to the point where my driver will go anywhere from dead straight to big fade (slice) and really gives me confidence to keep the ball in play more often. This has really helped me eliminate a lot of the really bad blow up holes in my rounds. -Easier said than done I'm sure, but still!

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:ping-small: - G430 Max

:cobra-small: - LTDx 3 Wood

:callaway-small: - Mavrik 4 & 5 hybrids

:mizuno-small: - Pro 225 Irons

:titleist-small::vokey-small: - SM9 50, 54, 58 degree

 :cameron-small: - Teryllium Longneck Newport 2 / :odyssey-small: - Jailbird 380 / Hudson Made Carman Custom

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6 minutes ago, Nick_D said:

Looking forward to this thread! I've seen the pod come up in my suggested on spotify and had thought about starting to listen. One of the biggest changes to my game that has helped with better scoring is just figuring out a way to have a consistent miss off the tee with driver. I've finally gotten to the point where my driver will go anywhere from dead straight to big fade (slice) and really gives me confidence to keep the ball in play more often. This has really helped me eliminate a lot of the really bad blow up holes in my rounds. -Easier said than done I'm sure, but still!

I will say I really enjoy the POD.  It may not be everyone's cup of tee.  They seem to relate everything in their golf game to an 80's movie reference, and fortunately I'm old enough I get most of them, but unfortunately I'm much odder than them, so I have forgotten some of the references as well....ha   But they are a fun listen and don't take themselves too seriously.

You and I are similar on the driver, I'm so short now, I have no choice but to be fairly accurate with it.  Being short is not good, but being short and crooked would be death! 

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:titelist-small: TSiR1 15.0 Aldlia Ascent 60g

:titelist-small: TSR2 18.0 PX Aldila Ascent 6og

:titelist-small: TSi1 20 Aldila Ascent Shafts R

:titelist-small: T350 5-GW SteelFiber I80 

:titelist-small: SM10 48F/54M and58K

:ping-small: S159 48S/52S/56W/60B

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Enjoy the podcast now Rob, because it gets infinitely worse starting around Season 3 🤣 I gave up on them ages ago. 

Just a cursory glace at those stats, looks like some more short game practice may be helpful. Just getting out there and playing more should help too.

Also, buy a new putter or three. Can't hurt! 

In my Big Max hybrid bag:
:mizuno-small: ST-X 10.5* Kai'li Blue R Flex
:mizuno-small: ST-Z 15* Kai'li Blue R Flex
:mizuno-small: ST-Z 4h Linq Blue R Flex
:cleveland-small: Launcher 5h
:wilson_staff_small: D7 6i-GW
:cleveland-small: CBX 54* & 58*
:cleveland-small: Huntington Beach #10
:bridgestone-small: e12 Contact

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As a high handicapper I get it as well. Of lately I have been playing well, then decided to do a checkin lesson and my swing was on the brink of sinking into disaster. It was sad to hear that (I was catastrophizing) but remember golf is a game. It’s my hobby and I don’t have unlimited to practice. I enjoy golf a lot despite having rounds of garbage or misfortune. I can understand the struggles you are going through. Keep grinding like you are. Move up a tee box if needed to make the game fun again. No harm in that. I look forward to hearing your progress and the things you try to do. Stay focused, have fun, manage your expectations. 

Follow my journey to enjoying golf and going low

Driver: :callaway-small:   Epic Max LS :kbs: TD Cat 4 70g (back up :Fuji:Ventus Black 6x 44.5" )

3wHL: :callaway-small: Rogue ST LS 75x  Tensei AV Blue w/ xlink

7w: :callaway-small:Apex UW 21* MMT 80S

DI: Caley 01X 18* with :kbs: PGH Stiff plus 95g

4-AW: th.jpg.d6e2abdaeb04f007fd259c979f389de6.jpg  0211  with:kbs: Tour Stiff 2.5* up 3/4" long, Soft stepped, MOI matched

Wedges     :cleveland-small: Zipcore 

Putter::L.A.B.:Directed Force 2.1 69*/35" in blue 

 

Ball:  :Snell: Prime 4.0

Shot Tracking: :ShotScope:

Bag: Vessel VLX 2.0

Grip: Lamkin Sonar +  Midsize 

Glove: :redrooster:

My Reviews:

Caley 01X Driving Iron Review 2023

Max Swing Speed Training and Speed Progress: Current Speed 120 in the MGS Speed Challenge (updated 3/15/23)

 :1332069271_TommyArmour:TAIII #2  Review here: TAIII Impact #2 Putter )

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th.jpg.d6e2abdaeb04f007fd259c979f389de6.jpg  0211  2019 Unofficial Review

 

 

 

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24 minutes ago, Golfspy_CG2 said:

So no hole by hole or shot by shot recap.  It was just a day where not one single hole did I feel I was in control.  That is despite having 5 pars and 1 birdie.  So if you're adding up at home, that means the other 12 holes I shot 24 over.   

I totally get how the life of a higher handicap is a mixture of enough pars thrown in during a round to make you think you should be pretty good at this game, to be offset by 2 to 3 holes that are totally round wreckers and you are asking yourself, what's the highest score anyone has ever gotten on this hole.  

  • Where do you lose all your strokes-- I was surprised to see it's pretty much equal between par 4 and par 5's   Not because I'm trying to reach in two.  But I think the simple fact that a Par 5 requires 3 consecutive solid shots.  VS a Par 3 you can get by with 1

 

  • Do you practice-obviously not as much as I should---See above  Which is a shame since I spent 8 to 10 hours a day less than 50 yards from a range and putting green, and can do on course practice pretty much on demand. 

 

First things first.....I'm pulling for you to get this worked out. 

My first question would be what do you want?  Bogey golf?  Better?  

So what happens on those big number holes?  Thins, fats, shanks, slices, hooks, penalties?  you imply they aren't solid shots but no details.  Sounds like the first area for improvement is better contact based on what is happening.  

When you do practice,  what are you doing to practice?  Just hitting balls?  specific drills?   

Wondering if maybe a different strategy might be what is needed?   At what club do you feel like you can start hitting it consistently?   5i, 6i, 8i?  For a while Maybe after the tee shot, hit that club and work on getting on in 3 instead of 2.   Kind of the discussion that was going on in the PAR is a mental health issue thread.   Forget about PAR and play the clubs you hit well and see how that goes.  Kind of gets rid of the I need to hit this well to get it to the green and focuses on just hit this well.  

Might be all bad advice,  but this is the kind of thought process I am mentally going through with my game.

Driver:  :ping-small: G400 Max 9* w/ KBS Tour Driven
Fairway: :touredgeexotics: XCG7 Beta 15*  w/Fujikura Fuel
Hybrids:  :titelist-small: 915H 21* w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
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26 minutes ago, Golfspy_CG2 said:

iI use the Chasing Scratch term, not out of grand illusion, but I just found their POD last week and have become an avid listener.  I'm still on Season 2 but working my way through to get current.  I can't imagine what they are talking about 4 years later...ha 

So anyway....

I mentioned this in a bit of a rant last nigh in one of our Staff Slack Channels.  Most regulars here know I'm not a great golfer, many of you have had the misfortune of witnessing the wreck of my swing and politely look away hoping it's not infected. 

But due to a myriad of medical reasons and a simple loft problem (Lack of  $#$$ Talent) I have always hovered between a 15 and 23 handicap.  The 15 was probably 10 years ago when I stil lhad a little bit of distance, drive maybe 245 to250, 7 iron 160 to 170.   The 23 was probably 5 years ago right as some of my medical issues started talking place.   But for the majority of the time, I have been between 17 and 19.    

Last night I saw the sobering number of 20.4 when my handicap updated after posting a 95.  The night before I had a 47 but it was on a much tougher course rating and from the white tees which were about 200 yards further than the gold tees on the same front nine I had played Wed night.   

Wednesday Night South Course Front 9  I felt was possibly the best ball striking round, granted I only hit 1 out of 9 greens, but I can't reach many of the par 4's from the whites, so I was hitting good solid iron shots that left me in good position to get up and down for no worst than bogey.  But alas my putting faltered to the tune of 19 putts.   I was kinda shocked at the end when I saw my score, as I thought I had played better than that, but two holes with triples didn't help the cause. 

Thursday AM, 18 house SouthWest course.  The front 9 is the 9 we played Wed night, but today played it from the Gold Tees, Senior League-so of course I expected to go out and rip it Up 🙂   Oh yeah, if the rounds were only played in our heads. 

So no hole by hole or shot by shot recap.  It was just a day where not one single hole did I feel I was in control.  That is despite having 5 pars and 1 birdie.  So if you're adding up at home, that means the other 12 holes I shot 24 over.   

I totally get how the life of a higher handicap is a mixture of enough pars thrown in during a round to make you think you should be pretty good at this game, to be offset by 2 to 3 holes that are totally round wreckers and you are asking yourself, what's the highest score anyone has ever gotten on this hole.  

I know all the questions and even some of the answers to this quandary..to include:

  • Have you taken lessons--Yes, actually took many video lessons with a very good coach from January to April before some medical issues sidelined me for most of May and June.
  • Do you practice-obviously not as much as I should---See above  Which is a shame since I spent 8 to 10 hours a day less than 50 yards from a range and putting green, and can do on course practice pretty much on demand. 
  • Do you need new equipment---I think we all know the answer to that 🙂
  • Where do you lose all your strokes-- I was surprised to see it's pretty much equal between par 4 and par 5's   Not because I'm trying to reach in two.  But I think the simple fact that a Par 5 requires 3 consecutive solid shots.  VS a Par 3 you can get by with 1
    •  To that end here are my scoring averages for each this year based on my hole by hole stat tracking on GHIN along with Stats from my all around game. 
      • Par 3's 3..88
      • Par 4's 5.46
      • Par 5's 6.65
    • Average putts 33.6  (This is much higher than it has been and I can go into a long explanation, maybe in another post in this thread) 
    • Putting summary
      • 2 putts or better 83%
      • 1 putts 16%
      • 3 putts or worse 17%
    • Approach shot stats
      • Greens in Regulation 16%
      • Approach Missed long 3%
      • Approach Missed Short 30%
      • Approach missed left 20%
      • Approach missed Right 22%
    • Driving Stats
      • Fairway Hit 55%
      • Missed Left 15%
      • Missed Right 17%
      • Missed short 5% (Don't Ask 🙂 )
    • Driving Distance 
      • It doesn't save those numbers but I have enough on course R10 numbers to know it's around 187 

So take this thread for what it is, I'm open to any thoughts, suggestions criticisms  and especially anyone that is going through the same thing.   

It was mostly a way of ranting and not clogging up our MOD discussions with such poor play, when most of them are shooting in the 70's! 

 

 

This is a great thread.  Glad to see that you started it.

Those stats seem to look pretty close to what (I think) a typical player would do with your index.  But that’s obviously a guess.  How many double bogeys or others do you have per round?  That seems to be a key stat to Index reduction. Arccos level detailed stats would be interesting if you tracked them.

Have you thought about consulting with Lou Stagner to see from Arccos statistically where you need to improve to get to your target index.  He also might be able to give you for your home course stats for players with your target index to see what they doing on average on the toughest 4-5 holes.

My guess is that it seems like driving distance is what Lou might suggest you need to improve on.  I think if you could get to 200-215 yards off the tee that could be all you need to get significant improvement.  Not sure given your health what is possible, since I am sure your Driver and FW are fully optimized to your current swing.

I know arm chair golf suggestions are not super helpful given your industry knowledge, but I thought it might be helpful.  Good luck with challenge.

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:titelist-small:  TSi 3  15.0 GD Tour AD - DI 6S Stiff

:ping-small: Utility 2 Iron 18.0 - Nippon NS Pro 650GH Stiff /  :titelist-small: TS3  21 Hybrid Tensei AV Blue 65 HY Stiff

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2 minutes ago, Golfspy_CG2 said:

Russ...thanks for the heads up on the POD.  halfway though season 2 now and I noticed a change in content, mainly they just seemed to get too much into on course commentary during the round. I can in theory understand and appreciate what they are trying to accomplish, but not sure they did.   I'll continue on until I can't take it anymore.  We'll see where that point is.

As for your suggestions.   I talked to one of the local pros at the staff fitting day last week, and am going to take a couple lessons from him.  One of which will be a short game one.  And then I definitely think I need a playing lesson to help with some of my on course decisions.  

Putter you say...Stay tuned 🙂    That's all I'll say. 

i will say, I am listening to the episode where they also interviewed mine and @GolfSpy MPR coach and learned he is a total badass. The do have some interesting Youtube content as well from when they went to TPI

Follow my journey to enjoying golf and going low

Driver: :callaway-small:   Epic Max LS :kbs: TD Cat 4 70g (back up :Fuji:Ventus Black 6x 44.5" )

3wHL: :callaway-small: Rogue ST LS 75x  Tensei AV Blue w/ xlink

7w: :callaway-small:Apex UW 21* MMT 80S

DI: Caley 01X 18* with :kbs: PGH Stiff plus 95g

4-AW: th.jpg.d6e2abdaeb04f007fd259c979f389de6.jpg  0211  with:kbs: Tour Stiff 2.5* up 3/4" long, Soft stepped, MOI matched

Wedges     :cleveland-small: Zipcore 

Putter::L.A.B.:Directed Force 2.1 69*/35" in blue 

 

Ball:  :Snell: Prime 4.0

Shot Tracking: :ShotScope:

Bag: Vessel VLX 2.0

Grip: Lamkin Sonar +  Midsize 

Glove: :redrooster:

My Reviews:

Caley 01X Driving Iron Review 2023

Max Swing Speed Training and Speed Progress: Current Speed 120 in the MGS Speed Challenge (updated 3/15/23)

 :1332069271_TommyArmour:TAIII #2  Review here: TAIII Impact #2 Putter )

 :cleveland-small: Zipcore Tour Rack 54/full and 58/mid (review here)

th.jpg.d6e2abdaeb04f007fd259c979f389de6.jpg  0211  2019 Unofficial Review

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Golfspy_CG2 said:

Russ...thanks for the heads up on the POD.  halfway though season 2 now and I noticed a change in content, mainly they just seemed to get too much into on course commentary during the round. I can in theory understand and appreciate what they are trying to accomplish, but not sure they did.   I'll continue on until I can't take it anymore.  We'll see where that point is.

As for your suggestions.   I talked to one of the local pros at the staff fitting day last week, and am going to take a couple lessons from him.  One of which will be a short game one.  And then I definitely think I need a playing lesson to help with some of my on course decisions.  

Putter you say...Stay tuned 🙂    That's all I'll say. 

In all seriousness, I mention the short game due to the stats you listed on the number of putts plus the stats on all of the GIR you missed and where. So to my mid teen handicapper's eyes, it looks like being able to get closer to the pin when you miss the green will be helpful, as would working on those approaches, which could be considered short game as well based on where you're hitting from. 

I think your thoughts on getting some feedback on course management is excellent, and something a lot of us don't consider when we're thinking about improvements. 

In my Big Max hybrid bag:
:mizuno-small: ST-X 10.5* Kai'li Blue R Flex
:mizuno-small: ST-Z 15* Kai'li Blue R Flex
:mizuno-small: ST-Z 4h Linq Blue R Flex
:cleveland-small: Launcher 5h
:wilson_staff_small: D7 6i-GW
:cleveland-small: CBX 54* & 58*
:cleveland-small: Huntington Beach #10
:bridgestone-small: e12 Contact

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4 minutes ago, Vegan_Golfer_PNW said:

As a high handicapper I get it as well. Of lately I have been playing well, then decided to do a checkin lesson and my swing was on the brink of sinking into disaster. It was sad to hear that (I was catastrophizing) but remember golf is a game. It’s my hobby and I don’t have unlimited to practice. I enjoy golf a lot despite having rounds of garbage or misfortune. I can understand the struggles you are going through. Keep grinding like you are. Move up a tee box if needed to make the game fun again. No harm in that. I look forward to hearing your progress and the things you try to do. Stay focused, have fun, manage your expectations. 

Thanks.  And yeah, I get it.  It is a hobby/game for all of us not being paid.   And I also remember the wise words someone said many years ago..."you're not good enough to get mad"   But I'd say more disappointed than mad.  

I play with a lot of scratch and low single digit guys every week.  And while the absolutely don't do or say anything to make me feel bad about my game, you can't but help at times feel like you're not worthy to be in the same groujp.  Forutnately the Thursday league I play in is all seniors and I'm right in the middle there.   A few guys that shoot in the 70's and many that shoot well over 100, and I usually come in the low 90s.  

And I do move up tees, Thursday I play the senior which is about 5,700 and the Wednesday night league is about 6200.   When I'm out for a non league round, I'll play a blended set of the two. 

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:titelist-small: TSiR1 15.0 Aldlia Ascent 60g

:titelist-small: TSR2 18.0 PX Aldila Ascent 6og

:titelist-small: TSi1 20 Aldila Ascent Shafts R

:titelist-small: T350 5-GW SteelFiber I80 

:titelist-small: SM10 48F/54M and58K

:ping-small: S159 48S/52S/56W/60B

:scotty-cameron-1: Select 5.5 Flowback 35" 

:titelist-small: ProV1  Play number 12

 

 

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Not sure this helps, but Two things that have been huge game changers for me this Summer so far:

Putter

Getting my putting alignment checked with a laser and a LM.  Interestingly if I hold my putter with tension, my aim shifts slightly left (never noticed this), but with no tension it was dead on.  Also balance, I had read and seen shifting more weight on my front foot was better.  But again that influenced my distance control given my putter loft & poor technique.  So when I went back to 50-50 weight distribution distance control improved again.  Lastly went to a Super Stroke fatter grip from the Scotty pistolero plus and found lower grip tension and aim again improved.  So putting stats wise it’s getting better.  Still lots of work to do.

Wedges - 50 yards in.

I worked on a simulator with my coach during Winter to master better controlled spin and lower launch (targeting half of stated wedge loft).  While the lies were flat indoors, the LM data was really helpful to see what I was doing.  Made huge strides this Summer so far.  No longer guessing how hard to hit something to get to my target spot on the fringe or green.

Now that being said my Driving and FW play have taken a real step back the last few weeks.  So my index is going no where but I am playing better overall.

:titelist-small:  TSR 3   9.0  GD Tour AD - DI 6S Stiff

:titelist-small:  TSi 3  15.0 GD Tour AD - DI 6S Stiff

:ping-small: Utility 2 Iron 18.0 - Nippon NS Pro 650GH Stiff /  :titelist-small: TS3  21 Hybrid Tensei AV Blue 65 HY Stiff

:Takomo:  5 - 9 101T Irons - KBS Tour Lite Stiff - Official Tester 2023

:vokey-small: Vokey SM9 46 F - 10 BV105

:vokey-small: Vokey SM9 52 F - 12 Nippon NS Pro 950 Stiff

:vokey-small: Vokey Forged 56 M - 10  DG S200

:taylormade-small: MG3 60 - 12 - Nippon NS Modus3 Tour 105 Stiff

image.gif.2bc8a27613a423a3721fd3b955802132.gif  Scotty Special Select - Squareback 2 - 35”  / Super Stroke Slim 3.0

 :srixon-small: Z-Star Diamond

 :titelist-small: Players 4 bag  image.png.939559f85230fe16347ecf2765438915.png    :redrooster:

 :Arccos: Official Tester - 2021 & Current MCC Plus 4 Sensor / Club Sensor User

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Agree with @KC Golf. Lowest hanging fruit there. My best scores have come when my SG is close to 0 or better in Shot scope strokes gained. If I could only putt better scores would be breaking records 😛 

Follow my journey to enjoying golf and going low

Driver: :callaway-small:   Epic Max LS :kbs: TD Cat 4 70g (back up :Fuji:Ventus Black 6x 44.5" )

3wHL: :callaway-small: Rogue ST LS 75x  Tensei AV Blue w/ xlink

7w: :callaway-small:Apex UW 21* MMT 80S

DI: Caley 01X 18* with :kbs: PGH Stiff plus 95g

4-AW: th.jpg.d6e2abdaeb04f007fd259c979f389de6.jpg  0211  with:kbs: Tour Stiff 2.5* up 3/4" long, Soft stepped, MOI matched

Wedges     :cleveland-small: Zipcore 

Putter::L.A.B.:Directed Force 2.1 69*/35" in blue 

 

Ball:  :Snell: Prime 4.0

Shot Tracking: :ShotScope:

Bag: Vessel VLX 2.0

Grip: Lamkin Sonar +  Midsize 

Glove: :redrooster:

My Reviews:

Caley 01X Driving Iron Review 2023

Max Swing Speed Training and Speed Progress: Current Speed 120 in the MGS Speed Challenge (updated 3/15/23)

 :1332069271_TommyArmour:TAIII #2  Review here: TAIII Impact #2 Putter )

 :cleveland-small: Zipcore Tour Rack 54/full and 58/mid (review here)

th.jpg.d6e2abdaeb04f007fd259c979f389de6.jpg  0211  2019 Unofficial Review

 

 

 

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14 minutes ago, russtopherb said:

In all seriousness, I mention the short game due to the stats you listed on the number of putts plus the stats on all of the GIR you missed and where. So to my mid teen handicapper's eyes, it looks like being able to get closer to the pin when you miss the green will be helpful, as would working on those approaches, which could be considered short game as well based on where you're hitting from. 

I think your thoughts on getting some feedback on course management is excellent, and something a lot of us don't consider when we're thinking about improvements. 

Yeah, no doubt that I need to get better and cloer from say 80 yards in.  And I've read a lot of Lou Stagner's tweets on this, I know NOT to expect to hit it to 5 to 10 feet from 40 yards...like every amatuer seems to think, until they read that's about the % Tour Levels hit it to...ha

As for the high percentage of approach that miss short.  I kind of eluded to it in my original post which probably got lost in al that talk, is due to playing in the league on Wednesday night, I'm forced to play tees while not abnormally long for most, I know there are many holes where I'd have to hit a FW into the green in order to reach.  So a lot of times, I choose the route of taking an iron that might leave me close but knowing I won't reach it.   So they are a bit skewed, but not by much, as I do miss a lot left and right when in easy range as well..ha

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:titelist-small: TSiR1 15.0 Aldlia Ascent 60g

:titelist-small: TSR2 18.0 PX Aldila Ascent 6og

:titelist-small: TSi1 20 Aldila Ascent Shafts R

:titelist-small: T350 5-GW SteelFiber I80 

:titelist-small: SM10 48F/54M and58K

:ping-small: S159 48S/52S/56W/60B

:scotty-cameron-1: Select 5.5 Flowback 35" 

:titelist-small: ProV1  Play number 12

 

 

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19 minutes ago, GolfSpy TCB said:

Rob, my friend and much taller cohort, this will get better... I promise you.

A few things in your post are hidden, that I feel are ultimately important in scoring... no matter what level you are.  

  • absolute putt counts have little meaning to me.  Breaking those putts down into <6', 6-12', 12-20', and 20+' will help identify if you need to focus on lag putts from longer distances causing your 3+putt holes, or if you 2 putt regularly from less than 6'.
  • Up and downs is another metric that will tell you if you need to spend time on the chipping green (and shave strokes by converting those missed greens... even that means a chip and 2 putts... that is still a bogey

When I'm working to shave strokes... I work in reverse.  Starting at the hole and working back to the tee.  I can save bad drives, or poorly struck long irons, or even missing the green with a mid approach... but I can't make up for a stubbed chip or a pulled 3 footer for bogey.  

I'm preaching to the choir here, you know this stuff, you live it every day at the course (#jealous), but sometimes hearing it again helps.  That is my approach anyway... hope you find some help in the thread here... but I know you will be back down below 20 very soon... and who knows... maybe on the way to mid teens.

Perfect! A great short game can make up for an average long game. Anyone that remembers Seve has seen this at the highest level. I remember he once missed every fairway and only hit 1 green, but was 1 under at the turn!

Play like a champion today!

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1 hour ago, KC Golf said:

This is a great thread.  Glad to see that you started it.

Those stats seem to look pretty close to what (I think) a typical player would do with your index.  But that’s obviously a guess.  How many double bogeys or others do you have per round?  That seems to be a key stat to Index reduction. Arccos level detailed stats would be interesting if you tracked them.

Have you thought about consulting with Lou Stagner to see from Arccos statistically where you need to improve to get to your target index.  He also might be able to give you for your home course stats for players with your target index to see what they doing on average on the toughest 4-5 holes.

My guess is that it seems like driving distance is what Lou might suggest you need to improve on.  I think if you could get to 200-215 yards off the tee that could be all you need to get significant improvement.  Not sure given your health what is possible, since I am sure your Driver and FW are fully optimized to your current swing.

I know arm chair golf suggestions are not super helpful given your industry knowledge, but I thought it might be helpful.  Good luck with challenge.

Thanks for this.  This is a very good thoughtful post with some really good suggestions.

I’ll get bsck to the thread later after dinner and answer some your questions. 
 

Thanks again for the post. 
 

@cnosil I was interested in hearing your thoughts of course.   I know your only exposure to my game is probably 5-6 old by now.   
Like I said to KC.  I’ll get some more specific answers later to your questions as well. 

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I too found the Pod a couple months ago and am just finishing season 4. I get that they are trying to make something more for entertainment value than for golf but I had hopes after season 1 that weren’t met up to this point. Can’t really take their quest serious when their overall games haven’t improved much in 5-6 years. 
 

Speaking of game improvement. I went from a 1 handicap in my twenties to a 5 handicap now when I’m 50 and was probably closer to an unofficial 10 handicap in my 40s when I only played once or twice a year after we had triplets in 2008. 
 

While their isn’t a shortcut to improving, I do believe there is a fairly simple formula one can follow if they want to break 80, or even 90 for that matter. And Lou Stagner nails it with his Arcos data. 

1. Reduce/Eliminate penalty strokes and big numbers. This means forget about long drives and just keep the ball in play. I’ve played with a lot of seniors who barely drive 200 yards but still manage to make pars half the time because they never take penalty strokes and are able to hit a lot of fairways. 

2. Don’t worry about hitting more greens but do focus on improving your misses around the green. I used this strategy with one of my sons who just started playing golf this year as a freshman and helped him focus more on good misses rather than hitting the green. While somewhat counterintuitive, you are usually better off missing all 18 greens but having an easy chip than hitting 4-6 greens and the other 12 are bad misses with no chance at getting up and down. This is more of a strategy for a 25 handicapper than a 10 handicapper. 

3. Improve lag putting. While making birdies feels great, two putting every green feels even better. Again, focusing on helping a higher handicap player, if you are able to get every putt from 30-50 feet inside 5 feet you’ll definitely see an improvement in your score. 

4. While I don’t disagree with the idea of improving wedge play from inside 100yds, I would wait until you get some other lower hanging fruit addressed. 
 

Just my $.02

Driver:  cobralogo.png.60692cdc05482efd83e68664e010b95f.png Aerojet LS, Ventus Blue Shaft - 6S
4 Wood:  callaway.png.e65d398fb0327017a369499fc6126064.png Rogue ST Max 16.5, Tensei White Shaft - 7S
Utility Iron: mizunopro.png.90cc4fb9895830e28063d9a5be416145.png Fli Hi 3-iron, HAZARDOUS Smoke Black Shaft - S
Irons:  mizuno.png.f0e7b21135cb6273b3c1430866904467.png JPX 921 Tour 4-P, Project X Shafts - Stiff 125g
Wedges: cleveland.png.f21f4d2361520fdf1bbd9d515a2f11e6.png 52º, 56º, 60º
Putter:  odyssey.png.58c727e37eb7efda62bce4f7b8881bd9.png Ai-One 7 T CH, 34"
Preferred Ball: srixon.png.f177578dda27a20ef80a0a8b1ae96e3b.png Z-Star Diamond
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Short game is the saver.  Spend lots of time on chips, pitches and putting.  Will make a ton of difference.

:Sub70:Driver : Sub70 839D

:Sub70:3 wood Sub 70 pro

:Sub70: Hybrid Sub 70 849 18*

:Sub70:Hybrid Sub 70 839 21*

:Sub70:Irons Sub 70 639 combo

:Sub70:Wedges Sub 70 659 approach 50*, 286 full face groove 54*

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4 hours ago, Golfspy_CG2 said:

I'm using the  Chasing Scratch term, not out of grand illusion, but I just found their POD last week and have become an avid listener.  I'm still on Season 2 but working my way through to get current.  I can't imagine what they are talking about 4 years later...ha 

So anyway....

I mentioned this in a bit of a rant last nigh in one of our Staff Slack Channels.  Most regulars here know I'm not a great golfer, many of you have had the misfortune of witnessing the wreck of my swing and politely look away hoping it's not infected. 

But due to a myriad of medical reasons and a simple loft problem (Lack of  $#$$ Talent) I have always hovered between a 15 and 23 handicap.  The 15 was probably 10 years ago when I stil lhad a little bit of distance, drive maybe 245 to250, 7 iron 160 to 170.   The 23 was probably 5 years ago right as some of my medical issues started talking place.   But for the majority of the time, I have been between 17 and 19.    

Last night I saw the sobering number of 20.4 when my handicap updated after posting a 95.  The night before I had a 47 but it was on a much tougher course rating and from the white tees which were about 200 yards further than the gold tees on the same front nine I had played Wed night.   

Wednesday Night South Course Front 9  I felt was possibly the best ball striking round, granted I only hit 1 out of 9 greens, but I can't reach many of the par 4's from the whites, so I was hitting good solid iron shots that left me in good position to get up and down for no worst than bogey.  But alas my putting faltered to the tune of 19 putts.   I was kinda shocked at the end when I saw my score, as I thought I had played better than that, but two holes with triples didn't help the cause. 

Thursday AM, 18 house SouthWest course.  The front 9 is the 9 we played Wed night, but today played it from the Gold Tees, Senior League-so of course I expected to go out and rip it Up 🙂   Oh yeah, if the rounds were only played in our heads. 

So no hole by hole or shot by shot recap.  It was just a day where not one single hole did I feel I was in control.  That is despite having 5 pars and 1 birdie.  So if you're adding up at home, that means the other 12 holes I shot 24 over.   

I totally get how the life of a higher handicap is a mixture of enough pars thrown in during a round to make you think you should be pretty good at this game, to be offset by 2 to 3 holes that are totally round wreckers and you are asking yourself, what's the highest score anyone has ever gotten on this hole.  

I know all the questions and even some of the answers to this quandary..to include:

  • Have you taken lessons--Yes, actually took many video lessons with a very good coach from January to April before some medical issues sidelined me for most of May and June.
  • Do you practice-obviously not as much as I should---See above  Which is a shame since I spent 8 to 10 hours a day less than 50 yards from a range and putting green, and can do on course practice pretty much on demand. 
  • Do you need new equipment---I think we all know the answer to that 🙂
  • Where do you lose all your strokes-- I was surprised to see it's pretty much equal between par 4 and par 5's   Not because I'm trying to reach in two.  But I think the simple fact that a Par 5 requires 3 consecutive solid shots.  VS a Par 3 you can get by with 1
    •  To that end here are my scoring averages for each this year based on my hole by hole stat tracking on GHIN along with Stats from my all around game. 
      • Par 3's 3..88
      • Par 4's 5.46
      • Par 5's 6.65
    • Average putts 33.6  (This is much higher than it has been and I can go into a long explanation, maybe in another post in this thread) 
    • Putting summary
      • 2 putts or better 83%
      • 1 putts 16%
      • 3 putts or worse 17%
    • Approach shot stats
      • Greens in Regulation 16%
      • Approach Missed long 3%
      • Approach Missed Short 30%
      • Approach missed left 20%
      • Approach missed Right 22%
    • Driving Stats
      • Fairway Hit 55%
      • Missed Left 15%
      • Missed Right 17%
      • Missed short 5% (Don't Ask 🙂 )
    • Driving Distance 
      • It doesn't save those numbers but I have enough on course R10 numbers to know it's around 187 

So take this thread for what it is, I'm open to any thoughts, suggestions criticisms  and especially anyone that is going through the same thing.   

It was mostly a way of ranting and not clogging up our MOD discussions with such poor play, when most of them are shooting in the 70's! 

 

 

I went back and read this again. What jumped out at me was hitting 1 of 9 greens with 19 putts. In essence, you used 8 chips/pitches and 19 putts. That’s 27 shots on 9 holes. I think there is the key to future success. If you played 18 holes that would have placed you at 38 putts and 16 chips/pitches. We are talking about 54 shots. That screams out that there is a short game weakness that needs your attention. You simply can’t give away that many shots a round and score. 

Play like a champion today!

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4 hours ago, Golfspy_CG2 said:

I will say I really enjoy the POD.  It may not be everyone's cup of tee.  They seem to relate everything in their golf game to an 80's movie reference, and fortunately I'm old enough I get most of them, but unfortunately I'm much odder than them, so I have forgotten some of the references as well....ha   But they are a fun listen and don't take themselves too seriously.

You and I are similar on the driver, I'm so short now, I have no choice but to be fairly accurate with it.  Being short is not good, but being short and crooked would be death! 

I struggle so bad off the tee, hit every new club they could dig up and ended up with the Ping 430 H/L but after a few months the honeymoon is over and its back to the same distance as the driver I traded in for it. Ironically I hit the Ping driver with senior flex 10.5 , a Stealth 1 3 wood H/L 16.5 regular flex and a 2 dollar yard sale find last week Titleist 983K at 9.5 loft with a stiff shaft thats almost 20 years old roughly the same distance. The only difference is how much is carry and how much is roll and to be truthful the 2 dollar club goes straighter. I THINK what happened is I went to a ball with more spin for my irons and it worked great but its to spinny and floaty with the ping.

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Wedges Cleveland RTX Fullface Zipcore 52 degree and TM Hi Toe 4 56 degree

Putter Scotty Cameron Golo S Center Shafted

Ball Bridgestone BXS , Trying The Maxfli Tour S also

Bag Titlist 15 Cart Bag

 

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2 hours ago, Tom the Golf Nut said:

I’ll tell you some things that really helped me. I’m not an instructor by any means but I know how to fix myself. When struggling with the driver I shorten up the back swing. Take it slow on the way back, set your wrists and bring the left arm up until it touches your chin. This will put you at 90 degrees between your arm and club shaft. Then from there accelerate through as fast as you can. I rarely miss a fairway doing this. Once comfortable you can increase the length of your backswing a bit. But try this for a few weeks. We are the same age and both had injuries but I’m able to hit the driver 240 on good days and 220 on bad days straight down the middle with this process.

The short game is your money maker. You can miss greens left and right but if you can chip it close and 1 putt your still looking at par. Practice, practice and practice some more. I’ll set goals during practice. Can’t leave until I chip one in.


I learned something very valuable last week during the woods only Cobra challenge. It’s ok to swing easy with more club. They go straighter. Hitting 6 hybrid 130 to 150 into greens is very easy.

Missing a green with a 7 wood or 5 wood is ok. But having a good wedge game to the flag is crucial. I shot a career low without my irons. I only had a 54* and a 60* wedge. I was forced to think out of the box and play smart but attack the flag with the wedge. It’s ok to experiment and sometimes it turns out well enough that you rethink your approach on a hole for the future.

 

I read somewhere and I repeat it because its funny but true. The best way to improve you 4-6 foot 2nd putt percentage is to practice the long / lag putts until almost all of them are way inside 4-6 feet. And the best way to practice getting those getting the lags putts to close to the hole is to practice with the short game / chipping / etc.  . it sound like a wise crack butt comma its true, when I got tired of my long putts across the green leaving me a unrealistic chance of making the 2nd putt I went to the practice green and practiced all or almost all long lag putts and when those 2nd putts are half as far or less than they used to be from the hole your putt count goes down , combining that with a lot of chipping and pitching practice has greatly improved my 1 putt percentage as well.

 Ping 430 Max H/L 10 Degree Geezer Flex

 Ping 425 7 wood Geezer Flex

Ping 425 5H [Not in bag]

TM DHY 4/5

Titlist 5-Gap T300's Geezer Flex

Wedges Cleveland RTX Fullface Zipcore 52 degree and TM Hi Toe 4 56 degree

Putter Scotty Cameron Golo S Center Shafted

Ball Bridgestone BXS , Trying The Maxfli Tour S also

Bag Titlist 15 Cart Bag

 

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8 minutes ago, Fred Mitchell said:

I read somewhere and I repeat it because its funny but true. The best way to improve you 4-6 foot 2nd putt percentage is to practice the long / lag putts until almost all of them are way inside 4-6 feet. And the best way to practice getting those getting the lags putts to close to the hole is to practice with the short game / chipping / etc.  . it sound like a wise crack butt comma its true, when I got tired of my long putts across the green leaving me a unrealistic chance of making the 2nd putt I went to the practice green and practiced all or almost all long lag putts and when those 2nd putts are half as far or less than they used to be from the hole your putt count goes down , combining that with a lot of chipping and pitching practice has greatly improved my 1 putt percentage as well.

There is a lot of truth here. My friends who play in the mid 90s talk a lot about their inability to putt well inside 5 feet but are completely blind to how bad they are with their lag putting. They are almost a guaranteed three putt from 40 feet and beyond. You can get from 95 to 85 real quick if you shore up your chipping and lag putting. 

Driver:  cobralogo.png.60692cdc05482efd83e68664e010b95f.png Aerojet LS, Ventus Blue Shaft - 6S
4 Wood:  callaway.png.e65d398fb0327017a369499fc6126064.png Rogue ST Max 16.5, Tensei White Shaft - 7S
Utility Iron: mizunopro.png.90cc4fb9895830e28063d9a5be416145.png Fli Hi 3-iron, HAZARDOUS Smoke Black Shaft - S
Irons:  mizuno.png.f0e7b21135cb6273b3c1430866904467.png JPX 921 Tour 4-P, Project X Shafts - Stiff 125g
Wedges: cleveland.png.f21f4d2361520fdf1bbd9d515a2f11e6.png 52º, 56º, 60º
Putter:  odyssey.png.58c727e37eb7efda62bce4f7b8881bd9.png Ai-One 7 T CH, 34"
Preferred Ball: srixon.png.f177578dda27a20ef80a0a8b1ae96e3b.png Z-Star Diamond
Pushcart: bagboy.jpg.0dda53b5175958e1b5686f22b90af744.jpg Nitron
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37 minutes ago, Javs said:

I went back and read this again. What jumped out at me was hitting 1 of 9 greens with 19 putts. In essence, you used 8 chips/pitches and 19 putts. That’s 27 shots on 9 holes. I think there is the key to future success. If you played 18 holes that would have placed you at 38 putts and 16 chips/pitches. We are talking about 54 shots. That screams out that there is a short game weakness that needs your attention. You simply can’t give away that many shots a round and score. 

I’ll answer tbe I before I go back to some of the other great comments. 

I like your thinking on this. However I should also explain on this particular hole of the 8 missed greens.  I only had 4 of them where I was truly chipping or pitching for my next shot.  I had 5 lost strokes due to either penalty shots or punching out of trouble and eventually reached fbd green with more of a full or mid ramge shot vs a true short game shot. 

Of those 4 holes where I was chipping from a short range k had a total of 6 putts.  So got most of them in a fairly makeanle range. 
 

That said 3 penalty and 3 escape shots in 9 holes is very high for me    I would say a more normal amount of penalties for 18 holes is usually 3.   
 

But yes eliminating those and a couple less putts (still more to come on putting ) and that 20 becomes a 15 or 16

 

 

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Golfspy_CG2 said:

I’ll answer tbe I before I go back to some of the other great comments. 

I like your thinking on this. However I should also explain on this particular hole of the 8 missed greens.  I only had 4 of them where I was truly chipping or pitching for my next shot.  I had 5 lost strokes due to either penalty shots or punching out of trouble and eventually reached fbd green with more of a full or mid ramge shot vs a true short game shot. 

Of those 4 holes where I was chipping from a short range k had a total of 6 putts.  So got most of them in a fairly makeanle range. 
 

That said 3 penalty and 3 escape shots in 9 holes is very high for me    I would say a more normal amount of penalties for 18 holes is usually 3.   
 

But yes eliminating those and a couple less putts (still more to come on putting ) and that 20 becomes a 15 or 16

 

 

 

 

 

That explains more of the issue. So, basically unforced errors is the issue. Both in being out of position and around the greens. Do you play the hole in your head prior? Meaning, what do I need off the tee to get in the best position for me. Then where is the best option to hit this next shot? Lastly, where is my probable miss and how do I eliminate the big miss. That coupled with a stronger short game will leave you with better results. My 2 cents

Play like a champion today!

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Ok.  I’m talking myself off tbe ledge.  I just went and pulled up my 2022 stats. 
 

Bad news they were much better.  Like the main categories 

Par or better was 25% 

2 putt or better was 86% 
 

GIR was 21% 

The good news that was based on a larger sample 26 rounds vs 12 rounds so far.  However of those 26 rounds 8 of them came after my Cataract surgery and resulted in some higher than normal scores while I adjusted  

This year 12 rounds.  11 of them were before June 3. So several were early season rounds coming out of a winter layoff   Even though I did practice much more this winter than previous ones  

So you can say, there is a logical reason for my step back a few strokes   
 

 

 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Javs said:

That explains more of the issue. So, basically unforced errors is the issue. Both in being out of position and around the greens. Do you play the hole in your head prior? Meaning, what do I need off the tee to get in the best position for me. Then where is the best option to hit this next shot? Lastly, where is my probable miss and how do I eliminate the big miss. That coupled with a stronger short game will leave you with better results. My 2 cents

I do that occasionally. Like think. Ok do I need to hit driver here. A solid 3 wood will still leave me a 8 or 9 iron in.   
 

But I probably don’t do it enough for sure. 

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:titelist-small: SM10 48F/54M and58K

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