Are you too comfortable on your home course? Does belonging to a club hurt your game?

rxk9fanrxk9fan MidwestMembers Posts: 789 ✭✭
My best rounds have came during two different runs at private clubs. They were both difficult courses and we played them from the tips and down. That was when my HC was lowest and had my best round of 69 in a Club Championship.

BUT, during those times if I went to another course I was usually horrible. I played so much golf on my home course that I kind of freaked (I know....stupid) when I stepped on the tee anywhere else and usually shot well above my HC.

After my 9 year break from golf, I came back working pretty hard at the game but I have not joined anywhere (I did pick up a practice facility membership). My HC has not yet made it to where I use to be, but I play a lot of different courses and going somewhere new strikes excitement instead of fear in me. I shot a 74 last Saturday at a course I had never seen (only 116 slope). My last 10 rounds have included 6 different courses and only one round was out of the 70's.



I could have never done that before.

Do any of you think you get too accustom to your home course....too comfortable knowing where you should miss and where you should not...too comfortable knowing every green...that when you go to play somewhere else the unknown causes angst and often golf scores worse than your ability?
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I am thinking about playing golf next year instead of HOing clubs!  
Oh, changed my mind and still HOing ....but HC finally moving in the right direction.
Definitions: HOing is changing any spot in your bag 3 or more times in a year
                   Optimizing is changing any/every spot in your bag up to twice a year :-)

Comments

  • MysticfalconMysticfalcon Members Posts: 80
    My score is better at my home course but my golf is usually better at another course. My home course is lots of holes next to each other with only 2 holes having real OB. This lets me really swing away since if I am on the next fairway over I usually still have a good shot in.

    When I go somewhere else I usually wind up losing a ball on the 1st tee box and then playing a lot more conservatively.
  • CELTICCELTIC Members Posts: 244 ✭✭
    I'm too "golf poor" to belong to a club and I have no real home course so I don't have these problems...I knew there was an advantage to playing muni's and public course
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  • Titleist983KTitleist983K Members Posts: 321 ✭✭
    It can work in your favor to be a member at a really difficult course. That way when you play other courses in the area you'll be used to playing a harder course and your scores might be better due to less demanding fairways, greens, etc.
  • RoodyRoody You ride her until she bucks you or don't ride at all Members Posts: 1,063 ✭✭
    My home course is target golf, with lots of OB and hazards. So when I play another course that has bigger fairways, less trouble, I feel like I can blast away without consequence. Also at my home course I can hit a lot of long irons off the tee instead of driver. I know pretty much without thinking which holes I can get away with less distance off the tee, and still leave me a comfortable approach.



    But I definitely get what you are saying. I know where all the trouble is at my home course. I know what clubs to hit and not hit in various situations because I know what will leave me short of the trouble, etc. Usually before I even kneel down to read my putt I know generally which direction it's going to go.
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  • Mike_CMike_C Members Posts: 1,469 ✭✭
    Roody wrote:


    My home course is target golf, with lots of OB and hazards. So when I play another course that has bigger fairways, less trouble, I feel like I can blast away without consequence. Also at my home course I can hit a lot of long irons off the tee instead of driver. I know pretty much without thinking which holes I can get away with less distance off the tee, and still leave me a comfortable approach.



    But I definitely get what you are saying. I know where all the trouble is at my home course. I know what clubs to hit and not hit in various situations because I know what will leave me short of the trouble, etc. Usually before I even kneel down to read my putt I know generally which direction it's going to go.




    Same here, my home course has OB and or water in play on every hole but one. Even playing well, I struggle getting around without at least one penalty shot. When I play other courses, I tend to free up my swing. But I still struggle reading our greens, I quite often putt better away too....
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  • davep043davep043 Members Posts: 3,255 ✭✭
    I think for most people, their game adapts to fit their home club. For instance, my home club has a few really demanding tee shots, hazard on one side, OB on the other, but we have very few trees in play. Vonsequently, a player can hit big draws or cuts without worry, as long as the ball lands in the right spot. When I play tree-lined courses, I struggle a little to hit shots that fly straighter. On the other hand, we have lots of uphill and downhill holes, blind shots, so I'm fine when I see these shots elsewhere, while others might struggle with a lack of clear target, or trying to figure club selection. Fortunately, I get away a couple times of year for golf, and I play in an interclub league so I see neighboring courses, so I get to play different styles of courses pretty regularly. My handicap travels reasonably well.
  • deadsolid...shankdeadsolid...shank ClubWRX Posts: 14,685 ClubWRX
    I can kind of play my home course on "autopilot". Pretty much know before we get to the tee what club I'll be using. Alsways know on certain holes where to try to play to. Just not a lot of thought.



    I enjoy going someplace new because it gets the brain engaged again. I've found often times I'll play better on a new course because of that. As long as there aren't any real hidde obstacles to wreck a score.



    So yes, in a way, I can see where playing one course over and over can be detrimental.
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  • kozubskozubs Members Posts: 275 ✭✭
    edited Jun 13, 2018 #9
    I shoot about 3 strokes better on other courses. My course is narrow with elevated greens and 4-6" rough everywhere. Lost balls are very common in the rough. There's very little water, OB on only 5 holes and forced carries are a non issue for me. It's the rough and tiny greens that gives my course teeth. I joined my course because it's the toughest test around and my handicap travels very well. At least I think so anyways.



    Just two days ago I shot 2 stokes below my handicap on a course I have never seen before with terrible greens that had almost the same slope and rating from the tips as my course. There were probably about 8 blind tee shots 4 of which put me in trouble from not knowing where to hit.



    If I want to mix it up, I'll sometimes play with a total of 4 clubs in the bag or do some other games.
  • duffer987duffer987 Don't feed the Choo. Canadian in CaliforniaMembers Posts: 9,099 ✭✭
    For me the comfortableness only applies to middling rounds.



    When I am playing well it doesn't matter whether it's my first go on a course or my 100th, good ball striking and decent putting are what they are. I just finished a golf trip playing 10 courses for either the first or second time and I had some really good nines/12 hole runs that wouldn't have been any better on my home course.



    When I am kinda just slapping it around and/or lose interest, if it's a course I know then I will still be able (hopefully) to skirt any big numbers and bogey on down the road, where as on a course I don't know I may step into a double or triple, that could have been avoided, with the same 'level' of golf.
  • FergusonFerguson Members Posts: 4,889 ✭✭
    No and no.



    Playing the same course and mastering that same course helps to build one thing that all golfers desire and need to score better - consistency.
  • adam667220adam667220 Members Posts: 861 ✭✭
    My home course is a smaller town muni and for whatever reason doesn't have a single bunker on it. Obviously, when I play elsewhere I'm terrified playing out of bunkers because I never get any practice. I play surprisingly well out of them considering I never practice, but it's nerve-wracking every time.
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  • MrJonesMrJones Waiting for the weekend... Members Posts: 2,724 ✭✭


    It can work in your favor to be a member at a really difficult course. That way when you play other courses in the area you'll be used to playing a harder course and your scores might be better due to less demanding fairways, greens, etc.




    My home course plays very difficult (to me) with tee shots, long par 3's, and only 3 par 5's. Lot's of uphill holes and many crummy lies available to choose from around the greens.



    So when I play other courses I tend to score better and play better overall.





    I would agree that I'm overall less focused when playing at home, unless it's during a tournament round.
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  • KuchhhhhhKuchhhhhh Members Posts: 2,235 ✭✭
    Lol I HATE my home course...okay hate is a strong word but it plays right into my weaknesses. I joined for 2 reasons. 1) They have the best group of players around compared to other courses and 2) Like I said it plays into my weaknesses. It is a true shotmakers course, you can't overpower it, every tee shot favors either a draw or fade and you're forced to hit less than driver on the majority of par 4's. It's also a par 70 so my strength (par 5 scoring) is greatly diminished given that there is only 2 par 5's on the course.
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  • SNIPERBBBSNIPERBBB Hit Ball Hard SE OhioMembers Posts: 2,395 ✭✭
    The thing that hurts me is probably putting...get so used to the speeds of the home greens and can get lost a bit on unfamiliar greens that are slower and grainy.
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  • MelloYelloMelloYello Upstate, SCMembers Posts: 3,403 ✭✭
    I switched to a tougher and more demanding course this year. It's a narrower course that still has length so tee shots are critical. This week I returned to my former stomping grounds and it was bliss. I hit 12 of 14 fairways. Although I didn't score incredibly well, I think that says something.




    duffer987 wrote:


    For me the comfortableness only applies to middling rounds.



    When I am playing well it doesn't matter whether it's my first go on a course or my 100th, good ball striking and decent putting are what they are.




    I also agree with this. If I'm driving it well, my irons are usually also decent and golf (anywhere) generally goes well.
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  • jdljdl Masshole MassMembers Posts: 1,769 ✭✭
    edited Jun 13, 2018 #17
    Roody wrote:


    My home course is target golf, with lots of OB and hazards. So when I play another course that has bigger fairways, less trouble, I feel like I can blast away without consequence. Also at my home course I can hit a lot of long irons off the tee instead of driver. I know pretty much without thinking which holes I can get away with less distance off the tee, and still leave me a comfortable approach.



    But I definitely get what you are saying. I know where all the trouble is at my home course. I know what clubs to hit and not hit in various situations because I know what will leave me short of the trouble, etc. Usually before I even kneel down to read my putt I know generally which direction it's going to go.




    I'm in a similar situation, home course is very tight, "target golf". And yes, playing a more wide open course can have a liberating effect. However, I notice sometimes on those courses I get a little lax on picking a specific target since it's so much more open. And then even though things are more generous, I still find trouble. image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' /> And other times might play a little too conservatively just because I'm so used to playing that way.
  • Sean2Sean2 #TheWRX (Callaway Trip) Members Posts: 30,826 ✭✭
    My home course is littered with hazards, not a lot of rough, and small greens. I usually feel more "comfortable" playing other courses as I find them more forgiving.
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  • RH2RH2 Members Posts: 114 ✭✭
    I love playing new courses because my home course is a challenging 132 slope from the Blues (the tips are a 136 and one further back from the blues). It’s a tough course with a lot of water, bunkers, and trees.

    My 2 best rounds this year we’re from vacation rounds in Scottsdale and Denver.
  • aliikanealiikane Members Posts: 1,619 ✭✭
    I think playing at different courses definitely helps your game. When you just play the same course, all your targets are picked and you can just go into autopilot without thinking. Then when you go to a new course, having to pick different targets and seeing different hazards, tree lines, etc can be mentally tougher. To add to that, I think playing tougher courses makes you better. Personally, I get bored playing the same course all the time unless I am working on something specific.
  • andrueandrue Members Posts: 1,218 ✭✭
    edited Jun 15, 2018 #21
    I belong to a club but I play 'away' most weekends. There's over half a dozen courses around here that I play frequently. I've never understood why people would want to restrict themselves to just one course. It has to get kinda boring and all you have to do is pick the phone up and book a tee on another course.



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  • SNIPERBBBSNIPERBBB Hit Ball Hard SE OhioMembers Posts: 2,395 ✭✭
    Hard to try to travel an hour away to play when there's money to win at home...
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  • Nykt1000Nykt1000 Members Posts: 69 ✭✭
    My home course is one of the top 3 hardest in the state. Everything else close by is easier compared to it.
  • FourTopsFourTops Banned Posts: 1,676 ✭✭
    Scores can be better at "away" courses because the level of expectation is also less....Zen Golf.
  • Big BenBig Ben Members Posts: 9,047 ✭✭
    Need to be able to take the show on the road. Exception being if your home course is a total brute which in theory would lend itself to confident play elsewhere. I tend to see guys that play 80 rounds on the same course struggle on the occasion you can pull them away. Just not used to thinking much when they are playing out of yesterday's divits. BB
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  • oikos1oikos1 Members Posts: 2,288 ✭✭
    FourTops wrote:


    Scores can be better at "away" courses because the level of expectation is also less....Zen Golf.




    Haha. Absolutely love high flow states, but I highly doubt better scores are repeatable with lowered expectations at ''away" courses with any level of consistency.
  • FourTopsFourTops Banned Posts: 1,676 ✭✭
    oikos1 wrote:

    FourTops wrote:


    Scores can be better at "away" courses because the level of expectation is also less....Zen Golf.




    Haha. Absolutely love high flow states, but I highly doubt better scores are repeatable with lowered expectations at ''away" courses with any level of consistency.




    Who said repeatable? Not me.
  • oikos1oikos1 Members Posts: 2,288 ✭✭
    FourTops wrote:

    oikos1 wrote:

    FourTops wrote:


    Scores can be better at "away" courses because the level of expectation is also less....Zen Golf.




    Haha. Absolutely love high flow states, but I highly doubt better scores are repeatable with lowered expectations at ''away" courses with any level of consistency.




    Who said repeatable? Not me.


    Oh, so then it's kind of a fluky thing. Got it.
  • FourTopsFourTops Banned Posts: 1,676 ✭✭
    oikos1 wrote:

    FourTops wrote:

    oikos1 wrote:

    FourTops wrote:


    Scores can be better at "away" courses because the level of expectation is also less....Zen Golf.




    Haha. Absolutely love high flow states, but I highly doubt better scores are repeatable with lowered expectations at ''away" courses with any level of consistency.




    Who said repeatable? Not me.


    Oh, so then it's kind of a fluky thing. Got it.




    Not fluky...just pointing out that when one doesn't have expectations in golf....they sometimes play better. Folks are much more likely to get down on themselves on home courses when they don't play well..because they "expect" to play well. That's all I'm saying.
  • Johnny_FairwayJohnny_Fairway South Jersey (Philly Burbs)Members Posts: 554 ✭✭
    I have a wide range of scores at my home course, but tend to play right to my handicap on the road.



    My most recent card has everything from an 82 to a 104 on it, with the two extremes coming at home.



    My 4 away rounds on the card are 89, 90, 90 and 91, all of which were at different courses. So I seem to be much more consistent playing away.
  • sticknerstickner Members Posts: 378 ✭✭
    The more difficult your home course, the more likely your game will "travel" when you play elsewhere.





    The easier your home course, the less likely your game will "travel" when you play elsewhere.

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